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Imidazoles are five-membered heteroaromatic compounds containing two nitrogen atoms at alternate positions. Imidazoles exist as two equivalent tautomeric forms, because the proton can be located on either of the two nitrogen atoms. Imidazoles are amphoteric as they act as both an acid and a base. Imidazoles have been incorporated in many important biological molecules, as they express pharmacological activity. Imidazoles are used as corrosion inhibitors on specific transition metals, such as copper.
Imidazolines are a non-aromatic analog of imidazoles in which one of the double bonds is saturated, and they are non-planar. They further exist in three forms, specifically, 2-imidazolines, 3-imidazolines, and 4-imidazolines. Imidazoles undergo several reactions including addition across the double bond, alkylation, etc., and are utilized in many applications. Imidazolines are cationic surfactants which can be used as water repellents, anti-corrosives, emulsifiers and dispersing agents. Imidazolines have a tendency of absorption onto negatively charged surfaces of metals, fibers, plastics, glass and minerals.